Summary of sermon by Erlo Stegen, 13 Dec 2015
“In those days John the Baptist came, preaching in the wilderness of Judea 2 and saying, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven has come near.” 3 This is he who was spoken of through the prophet Isaiah:
“A voice of one calling in the wilderness,
‘Prepare the way for the Lord, make straight paths for him.’””
There are many voices calling. There’s the voice of the world. There’s voice of your friends. And many listen to the devil’s voice. But how many are listening to God’s voice?
The voice we read of here is in the wilderness.
The Bible also speaks of the voice of many good and many evil people. We read of the voice of good people like Abel, Abraham, Moses, Samuel, David, Elijah, Esther, Ruth, Daniel, etc. But we also read of the voice of evil people like Ahab and Jezebel in 1Kings 18 and 19.
Jezebel’s wicked voice went far and wide. She wasn’t a Jewess herself but was married to the king of Israel, Ahab. She brought in Baal worship to Israel. It was a wicked religion based on sexual immorality. She tried to destroy all God’s prophets. Her husband, the king of Israel, was a washout, and he never rebuked his evil wife even when he saw her wicked ways. This happened about 900BC.
Her prophets also worshipped a female idol called Ashtaroth, with 400 prophets that sat at her table. And then there were a further 450 prophets of Baal who also sat at her table.
Much could be said about the life of this queen but let’s just touch on a few things. When King Ahab wanted to buy the vineyard of Naboth, he refused because it was his inheritance. Naboth was a true believer, and listened to God’s voice. Ahab was furious. He was so angry so that he was sick and refused to eat. When his evil wife Jezebel asked him why he was so depressed, he told her his story. Ahab was like a little child that sulks when it doesn’t get what it wants. But she told him that she will get it for him and so arranged for Naboth to be murdered.
Do you see what the voice of Jezebel is like, that promises to get you what you want and do so very soon? When you simply want your own way, whether it’s God’s will or not. That is the voice of Jezebel.
After Naboth was murdered, Elijah also heard about it. He also heard God’s voice and God told him to meet Ahab in Naboth’s vineyard, and tell him that He will judge Ahab and his family (1Kings 21:17-24). Three years later Ahab was dead, for the reign of kings is very temporary, and is in God’s hands. What Elijah had spoken went into fulfilment.
During Ahab and Jezebel’s reign, Elijah had all the prophets of Baal put to death. When Ahab reported it to Jezebel, she was furious and vowed that Elijah would be put to death. But Elijah had prophesied that she will die, and that dogs devour her at the wall of Jezreel (1Kings 21:23).
When king Jehu went to perform God’s judgement on Jezebel she looked at him from the balcony with all her makeup, perfume and false hair etc. She tried to captivate him with her beauty and expensive makeup (2Kings 9:30). But he cried to the two men with her, her bodyguards, to throw her down, and they threw her down, and he drove over her with his horses and chariot. And so Elijah’s prophecy was fulfilled. Jehu went in to eat after this whore was killed. While he ate, he remembered that she was the daughter of a king of another nation, and sent his people to go and bury her. But when they got there they found that the dogs had devoured her and was licking up the last blood, and just her skeleton was left (2Kings 9:35).
Do you see how God punished her and what He thought of her? If you live her life you too will be consumed by spiritual dogs. You who beautify yourself with all manner of makeup and beauty products, this Jezebel is your mother!
Are you listening to the voice of Jezebel or the voice of the one crying in the wilderness?
Jezebel’s voice is seen on TV, in the cities etc. There you see what the daughters of Jezebel are like and how they dress. To whose voice are you listening? Is it the voice of God or of Jezebel? Who rules in your life? Who do you take after?
Look at the end of Ahab and Jezebel and realise that you will end like her if you follow in her footsteps.